For the past few months members of Eyemouth Community Rowing Club have been in and out of the harbour practising for what awaits them this weekend - the Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the Thames.
And as well as being a massive moment for the crew of Unity, the boat constructed in Eyemouth as part of its community rowing project, Sunday’s event will also shine the spotlight on Katie Clough who recently won the ‘Be Seen By The Queen’ competition organised by the rowing club and Pocketful Kids to design a flag.
Her prize is that her design will be flown from Unity in front of the hundreds of thousands of people who will watch the pageant from the banks of the Thames and the millions who will watch it on television when it is broadcast worldwide.
Rowing Club coach, Julie Middlemiss Brown said the team of five rowers who will fill the boat on Sunday were all ready to do Berwickshire proud.
“I couldn’t be happier with the team I’ve got; they have come on so much since they have started and they’ve gelled extremely well,” she said.
“We started training in February and have been out on the water in torrential rain, snow you name it.
“Thanks to the Borders Sport & Leisure Trust we’ve also had free use of the gym twice a week and this has been just as important as the training on the water.
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link and every one of the crew needs to have a strong core. Being in a boat for a long period of time can also affect your hamstrings so we’ve been doing lots of different exercises to strengthen those as well. And then there’s the issue of a build up of lactic acid - it’s not like any of them will be able to stand up and walk about.
“The crew will row about 10 miles on Sunday which should take them around two hours - they’re all really excited about the pageant; it’s a chance of a lifetime.
“They are so proud to be representing Berwickshire and what’s so good about the Unity crew is that they’re from all over the area. We’ve got representation from Eyemouth, Coldingham, St Abbs and central Berwickshire.
“We’ve also got a really good spectrum of ages. Our oldest crew member is 52 and our youngest 25. I’ve been coaching seven of them, it’s just a shame there can only be five in the final lineup; if I could have them all in the boat I would.”
The five lucky crew members who will power Unity through Sunday’s extravaganza are Reu Delahaye, Sandy Mutch, Gillian Dougal, John Airlie and Peter Nisbet (coxswain).
If you want to keep an eye out for the Unity crew on Sunday as they make their way to Tower bridge, it will be boat N121.